Belly dance is a western term for a traditional Arab dance known as a dance of country or folk dance. It is also referred to as Middle Eastern dance. Native to the Middle east and now popular worldwide belly dance takes many different regional forms both in costume and dance style, indicating that distictive dance moves may have been transported to those regions and incorporated with local dance styles. As with any dance of folkloric origin, the roots of belly dance are uncertain. One theory claims belly dancing is originally from ancient Babylon in Southern Iraq. Traditionally women danced at social gatherings while men played the drums. After the arrival of Islam belly dancing was banned. From then on only poor local women and slaves from Persia, India and North africa belly danced to entertain wealthy men. Another theory is that belly dancing is a re-working of movements traditionally utilized to demonstrate or ease the pain of childbirth and was used by women for that purpose.